Global Mining Industry Seeing the Sustainability Benefits of Satellite-Enabled Internet of Things

Most mining companies surveyed (80%) are seeing a positive impact from IoT solutions for improving sustainability, with (43%) making CO2 emissions reduction progress or seeing biodiversity improvements and 21% reporting improved proof of origin of materials.

Image of a mining worker looking out over a rural mining site.

A study by Viasat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global leader in satellite communications, has revealed that 86% of mining businesses say they have plans to increase the use of IoT technology within the next year to more accurately measure and understand the impact of sustainability initiatives. The same number say the use of satellite-enabled IoT solutions is critical to improving sustainability.

The findings come from a global, independent research report Accelerating sustainable action through IoT commissioned by Viasat. The study explores the views of more than 200 senior technology and ESG decision-makers within mining firms across Europe, North and South America, Africa and Asia.

The report found 85% of all contributors think their business is more sustainable compared to industry peers. A further 84% admitted peers may be more focused on perception around sustainability - rather than tangible metrics and outcomes - due to the lack of visibility of validated data as support.

With mounting concern over green claims across industries, the need for real-time data to cater for regulatory reporting and environmental obligations is vital. More than half of industry leaders surveyed believe their businesses could better measure and understand sustainability performance through better automation and digitalization of the data capture process to feed into reports.

Today, many mining enterprises see satellite enabled IoT as a reliable and robust alternative or back-up connectivity solution. This provides a major advantage where terrestrial connectivity is limited or non-existent. Promisingly, the study found that many mining businesses have already adopted IoT solutions to enhance operations. Almost half of the respondents (43%) say they have started seeing the benefits of IoT solutions in the form of CO2 emissions reduction and biodiversity improvements.

Nicholas Prevost, Market Development Manager (APAC) and Director of Mining, Viasat, said “Amidst growing pressure to enhance operational sustainability and efficiency - combined with rising global inflation - the ability to track tangible ESG outcomes is a major concern for the mining industry right now.”

“The good news is that a significant amount of global mining companies surveyed have already seen positive impact from their investments in IoT solutions on commercial results. That is an important contributing factor in unlocking the necessary funding these businesses will need to further boost sustainability efforts and deliver profitable growth.”

The research unearthed many examples of businesses using IoT-based operational data and insights to maximize sustainability initiatives and drive operational efficiency. Many respondents, (30%) said they are using this data to directly engage with local communities on the topic of sustainability. Nearly the same number leverage this data to engage with industry peers, and 31% do so with customers.

Notes to Editors

The Viasat, Inc., report ‘Accelerating sustainable action through IoT’ focuses on the challenges, opportunities and priorities businesses juggle as they work to improve their sustainability credentials and the role satellite-enabled IoT solutions will play in driving this change.

This report is based on independent research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Viasat, Inc., surveying senior technology and ESG professionals with sustainability decision-making power across a range of businesses sizes (sole trader, 1-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250-500 and 500+ employees). Survey respondents spanned agriculture, mining, oil & gas, utilities and transport sectors across Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia. As such, the results represent a broad range of businesses at various stages of their sustainability and industrial IoT adoption journeys. Data was collected in August/September 2022.

Satellite-based IoT solutions are key to facilitating better ESG communications and compliance with regulatory reporting, particularly for firms operating in rural or remote regions where it would otherwise be challenging to access such information on an always-on, real-time basis. They can also support enhanced remote monitoring and control of on-site operations to minimise environmental impacts, improve staff safety, reduce potential leaks or spills by identifying issues pre-failure, and improve predictive analytics to help businesses identify energy efficiencies and broader improvements over the longer term.

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